Maine CDC urges flu shots as cases rise above 1000 in state

Kenny Tucker
January 27, 2019

So far this flu season, H1N1 has been the dominant strain, with over 1,100 people having been admitted to hospital in Alberta.

The decline is influenced by several factors, including the antigen used in the vaccine, the age of the person being vaccinated, and the person's general health (for example, certain chronic health conditions may have an impact on immunity).

"The vaccine effectiveness this year is good at about 70 per cent". "This flu season may have peaked earlier than previous year, but generally the season lasts into April". The last three H1N1 epidemics occurred in 2015-16, 2013-14 and 2009, when some of today's children would not have been born. "People say they get the flu after getting a flu shot, but they more likely caught an illness from someone else in the waiting room". The death of a three-year-old Quebec girl last week would not have been captured in that report.

According to data from the Public Health Agency of Canada, at least seven children under age 10 died from complications of influenza as of January 12. "It's not that the virus is more virulent". Dr. Zimmerman points out that children overall have higher vaccination rates than adults.

"When you have more infected, more attack rates, and the same proportion experiencing serious outcomes, the absolute tally of serious outcomes will be higher".

NY state alone has had more than 5,000 confirmed cases this season.

PHAC collects data only on laboratory-confirmed cases of people who were tested after seeking medical attention.

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Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services says that more than 630 deaths from pneumonia and influenza have been reported since October.

She said this year's mid-season analysis by the Canadian Sentinel Practitioner Surveillance Network (SPSN) has reported encouraging results. This year we have had very little "B" but that's not to say we won't see it.

The flu activity kept intensifying in the country as 16.1 percent of respiratory specimens were tested positive for flu viruses during that week, increasing from 12.7 percent in the previous week.

"They will continue to rise throughout the season, so really it's important and it's not too late to get your flu shot", said Karen Derusha of the Clinton County Health Department.

"We've got about 80 doing this on a fairly regular basis".

The bad news, the report says, is that only about one in three upstate NY adults regularly get their flu vaccine.

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